Tuesday, 21 June 2011

I'm in the market for a new career - inspire me

I've been wanting to blog about this for some time but couldn't until I'd made an official business announcement. But now I have. You can read it here.

In short, I have sold my PR business. From August I will officially be unemployed. Stretching before me is a blank canvas, just waiting for me to colour it with something exciting.

My challenge is, I don't know what that something is. 

Here's my CV: I studied PR for three years. Then I studied small business management for 6 months. Then I studied marketing for another three years. I have worked in PR for about 18 years in South Africa, the USA and the UK. Frankly, I am over it. I need to do something new, I just have no idea what.

Several people have suggested I write a novel. I'd love to. But I really don't know if I have the talent and I'm battling to find a story. I don't want to be 'another writer'. Sure, I'd love to be JK Rowling or Stephanie Myer with multi-billion pound franchises. But I reckon that's what most novelists aspire to. Not many make it. I'm not trying to be a pessimist. Just a realist.

Then I look at my other interests and passions. I like to cook. I like to bake. I have always envisaged running a little tea room filled with girly pink bunting and decadent cakes. But the reality of that dream is working almost every hour in every day to make a pittance. I want to earn enough money to make the hours worthwhile. And I want to be able to see my children.

I like sailing and the outdoors, walking, treasure hunts, organising children's parties, using my imagination and being sociable. I wish I was better with my hands - making things. But I suck at that. I have lots of ideas for other people's businesses. And I've had a few ideas of my own. Nothing that sets my pants on fire enough to want to invest blood, sweat and tears into it.

And that's part of the problem. Having run my own business, I think I'd find it impossible to go work for someone else unless they were radically flexible about hours. So I think I'll have to run my own business but I also know what that means. When I set up my PR business, I had no idea that running your own business meant such long hours and a feeling that you could never turn work off. I know that if I set up another business, I will need to be really passionate about whatever it is so that I don't mind making those sacrifices.

I would also like to do something worthwhile, that makes a difference to people, rather than just trying to flog the next gadget. But I'm too much of a capitalist to work entirely selflessly for a charity. And the charity begging is almost as noisy to me as the PR and marketing 'Me Me Me' cacophony is.

Finally, I am tired of working alone. While I love working at home (hence the blog title), it does get lonely. It would be lovely to have someone to team up with, to share the highs and the lows. To take on the scary bits together. To brainstorm and be creative and think we can take on the world. But finding that person is hard.

So help me please. Inspire me. Throw suggestions at me. I welcome all ideas.

If nothing comes to me, I might just have to take some time out, put my feet up, gaze at my navel and be a kept woman. I can think of worse things....

14 comments:

Ellen Arnison said...

Congratulations.
I know it sounds a bit dippy-hippy but I believe that if you don't try to find the next big thing, something perfect will present itself.
Good luck.

Belgravia Wife - sort of said...

I'm year 15 headhunter turned writer in my 'later years' - take a few deep breaths, stay quiet , the idea will come. I can't promise and believe me i don't do out there but worth a try xx

Home Office Mum said...

Ellen and Belgravia Wife - you're both saying the same thing to me. The universe is speaking. I shall sit back, breathe and wait for inspiration to hit. I hope it's not at 3am as that's normally when it strikes and it really messes up my sleep pattern. Thanks for your comments

kcm said...

Do you like being out in the fresh all day? Are you any good at gardening? If so, you could do gardening for people. I now know 4 or 5 people who've started doing "a bit of gardening for a couple of friends" and within 6 months have more work than they can handle. One now has his own landscaping company. Yep it can be lot of hours at this time of year. But you get to talk to people and see the results of what you do. It ain't brilliant money but it's adequate. Just a thought.

Home Office Mum said...

KCM - I would love to do that. Except I know NOTHING about gardening and tend to make plants die. But it's that kind of outdoor thing I'm quite keen on

nappy valley girl said...

Gosh. Congratulations on selling up. I think maybe a nice long summer break? Don't rush into anything. I had no idea what I would be doing when I came to the States, but finally a pretty well perfect job presented itself through pure serendipity. (It did take a year and a half, though).

Jenny Rudd said...

What an enormously exciting time for you. When I moved to NZ and had 3 children I wondered what the hell I was going to do for work. At home in London I'd been a sports spread betting trader, a life which doesn't dovetail in the slightest with being a mum. Like you I've always had the 'write a book' fantasy but I have the same misgivings. I am now a freelance writer and write about a huge variety of things. I won't say it's making me rich but the money's ok and I absolutely love the work. You can do some stuff which makes a difference and other stuff which isn't quite as altruistic but is bloody interesting (and usually more lucrative). It's probably similar in some ways to your PR role and I'm sure your contacts and experience would be very helpful. Anyway, I'm gassing. Good luck with deciding and what fun!

Iota said...

Set up a relocation agency. Help people research new lives and relocate. You'd be good at that.

Head-hunting? You probably have loads of contacts in the PR world. Could you be a specialist PR recruitment consultant? Perhaps not the best plan in a recession.

But I also agree with the comments that you will find the right thing if you are open.

Country Mom said...

I think that you should become a type of 'agony aunt' for start ups. Help other people who are starting up to generate new ideas, go down new business lines etc. You're good at ideas...very good. So use it. You get to be with / speak to people every day, but you won't have the responsibility of the actual business. And as most start ups don't have cash to burn, you could negotiate shares instead, which could provide you with a cushy future!

Metropolitan Mum said...

Journalist? Editor? Social media expert?

I wouldn't turn my back to writing - apparently it's something you enjoy and you are good at it!

katyboo1 said...

Fantastic news. I will have a think re careers. It will be good for me too. Need to find something by September when O goes to school and have come to many of the same conclusions as you.
Good luck.x

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

I like Iota's idea--or something along those lines. You can draw on your extensive expat experience, collect a list of contacts from schools, movers, estate agents...etc just as you had a list of contacts as a PR.

Home Office Mum said...

thanks to everyone for your fab job suggestions. Those of you going to Cybermummy we can brainstorm further :-) And obviously I will update this blog once the brainwave hits me

angelsandurchinsblog said...

Summer off, and a totally guilt-free one at that (as in you're properly off, not just playing at being off while keeping your BlackBerry plugged to your hand). Maybe you'll continue to enjoy being an, ahem, lady of leisure. Probably not, and I've no advice except to enjoy what must be the first all-about-you months you've probably had in years, if ever.